Utahn accused of human trafficking charged with witness tampering from jail

Oct 29, 2022, 2:31 PM | Updated: Nov 18, 2022, 6:08 pm
A man already accused of aggravated human trafficking is now charged with trying to tamper with wit...
A man already accused of aggravated human trafficking is now charged with trying to tamper with witnesses and evidence while he was in the Salt Lake County Jail. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A man accused of forcing a teenage girl into prostitution is now facing additional criminal charges accusing him of having a man contact the victim’s mother and instructing that man to erase potential evidence from social media accounts.

Angelo Paul Sisneros, 38, was charged Oct. 7 in 3rd District Court with aggravated human trafficking, aggravated exploitation of prostitution involving a child, rape, forcible sodomy and drug possession, first-degree felonies; and three counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

Sisneros is accused of forcing a girl, whom he met in 2019 when she was 14, into prostitution to pay for rent and drugs.

On Thursday, prosecutors filed additional charges of obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony and conspiracy to commit witness tampering, a class A misdemeanor.

The man accused of helping Sisneros, Charley Monroe West, 39, was also charged Thursday with the same crimes.

Three days after Sisneros was arrested, he was recorded making a call from the Salt Lake County Jail to a man — later identified as West — asking, “Were you able to do anything with those?” according to charging documents.

West responded by saying “he had to erase everything individually and deleted or deactivated the accounts but that the Google account had remained. Sisneros told the male to look for any devices that show active and then ‘clear the info, reset reset reset,'” the charges state.

Later that same day, Sisneros and West had another call that was recorded by the jail, during which Sisneros tells West that the victim’s mother was expected to have a meeting with someone, and that “she could play a big role in how the case turns out. The male responded that he needed to find out what was going on and he could talk to the victim because he doesn’t believe the victim would have made these allegations. Sisneros says if the case goes to trial, the victim can show up and say something that will ‘save (him),'” the charging documents allege.

The next day, Sisneros made additional phone calls to West, telling him to erase his Facebook account on his phone, a Google account, and then asks if the victim can write letters to prosecutors and ‘tell them that she was lying,'” the charges state.

A warrant was issued for West’s arrest on Thursday.

The next scheduled court hearing in Sisneros’ trafficking case is Nov. 14.

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Utahn accused of human trafficking charged with witness tampering from jail